He Saw Fire

After reading this detailed Collider article about the ITS Panel and WonderCon in which Richard Armitage tells us he watched on You Tube a live fire tornado that hit Australia, KatharineD found the You Tube substantiating it.

6 thoughts on “He Saw Fire

  1. This video was taken in outback Australia, so nowhere near any townships, but I also found in my searching that Australia has the first documented case of a fire tornado in the world. There were very bad bushfires in Canberra in 2003, and the subsequent researchers were baffled by the way the fires had spread, quite unlike previous instances. They put together the data and found that a unique set of conditions caused a fire tornado. It’s quite interesting to watch a report about it, and shows such a tornado can cause large scale damage to homes and land, which is presumably what we’ll see in Into The Storm.

    Here’s the link to the bushfire invest estivation, if anyone’s interested- it’s very well pieced together:


  2. As the guy who shot the video above and having viewed the VFX on the “Into the storm” trailer, I have to tell you I am very disappointed. If they spent so much time getting the dynamics of a tornado right, why not the fire tornado! The way the film example moves is nothing at all like a real one which is far more terrifying. Will be interested to see what audio they use with it too, which in real life has much more to do with a jet fighter than a wind. On the subject of wind, these things are not caused by tornadoes going over fires, but are born out of the fires themselves. Apart from all that, they’ve got it spot on!


    • Hi Chris and welcome. Thanks for taking the time to comment and offer a first hand account of a fire tornado. Can you explain what you mean that the tornadoes are born by the fires themselves, or did you mean by the tornadoes themselves. Sounds positively terrifying. It sounds to me like your experience was one of the ones the film maker was trying to replicate.


      • Perry, It’s all a little complex as some of it comes down to definitions. Most Scientists say that my example was more likely an intense “fire whirl” rather than the rarer “fire tornado” which strictly comes “top down” to meet the ground (like a real tornado) from a pyrocumulus cloud. But in a circular argument, that cloud was created by a large fire in the first place! Whereas fire whirls tend to be created “bottom up” from the intense heat of a ground fire, with no external cloud required above it.
        Another argument says that both a are effectively “ground up” anyway as ultimately the fire causes it all. Further, some experts say the intensity of mine fits a tornado definition so perhaps this is in a so-far unnamed category in between.

        That aside, mine clearly was not affected by ANY external weather, look carefully at the clear blue sky and especially the foreground vegetation to verify that there was absolutely no wind at the camera position at all, only around the firenado itself. Not sure what the film makers’ intentions were until I see the context of the sequence I guess. By, the way that’s what I do, I couldn’t be a Photographer if you paid me!

        To illustrate what I meant on how I thought the ITS one didn’t look or sound authentic, I have added another link here you are free to post. Unlike the previous one, this entire version has been corrected back to actual speed, as many previous versions that have been broadcast and posted online contained mostly footage in slomo, as I had shot in both realtime and slomo on the day. Note the incredible speed of the rotation, the generally straight up and down form, the “pulsing” of the flame up and down inside the vortex and of course the incredible noise, not a single element of which I can see in the trailer. i understand they probably had started the VFX well before they saw my real one, but it seems a pity that even at this late stage they can’t give it, at least, a bit of the reality and ferocity that only nature can bring to the table. http://vimeo.com/alicespringsfilmtv/firepillar


  3. Pingback: Australian Photographer of Real Life Fire Tornado Viewed by Armitage, Weighs in On Into the Storm | Armitage Agonistes

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